IKI project for protecting the Selva Maya tropical rain forest

Dip into a tree crown

Climate change and the loss of biodiversity are threatening nature reserves in the Selva Maya; Photo: Chris H / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

In August 2016, the project Development of a Regional System to Monitor Biodiversity and Climate Change in the Selva Maya Region started its work in the border area between Belize, Guatemala and south-eastern Mexico. The core challenge for the project is to ensure the long-term conservation of the Selva Maya through the sustainably oriented use of its natural resources. On behalf of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Environment Ministry (BMUB), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is responsible for implementing this regional project.

As the second-largest tropical forest region in the Americas after the Amazon, the Selva Maya is home to a wide range of endemic flora and fauna that are found in few areas across the globe as well as a number of endangered species. Climate change and the loss of biodiversity are putting nature reserves in the Selva Maya at risk and are disrupting the living conditions of the local population.

This project aims to create a cross-boundary monitoring system for biodiversity and climate change that can be used to systematically measure and record the impacts that climatic changes and socio-economic development are having on biological diversity in the area. In future, the system can be used to develop and implement new conservation and adaptation measures in cooperation with the local population and to record their results. By the end of the project in June 2021, the findings obtained by monitoring biodiversity and climate change in the Selva Maya region will also be integrated more closely into political decision-making processes.

The partner organisations for this project are the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development (MAFFESD) in Belize, the National Council for Protected Areas (CONAP) in Guatemala and the National Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO) in Mexico.